I personally like the definition for grateful, versus thankful. I know, I’m splitting hairs, they’re synonyms of each other, but the definitions at www.dictionary.com prove my point.
feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative
1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful: I am grateful to you for your help.
2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.
3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing: a grateful breeze.
I’m not just “feeling or expressing” gratitude. I’m deeply appreciative of the blessings I’ve received. That’s where I think the words, the meanings are different.
Are we as a nation just thankful for the turkey dinner, and a day off from work? Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to them too, but is that how we look at our holidays? We can get caught up in the planning, and traveling, and we should want to be with family. But now that the Black Friday sales actually begin on Thursday, what are we allowing to happen to us? We’ll be too busy planning our shopping excursions, how soon we need to show up to stand in line (have you seen those already camped out in front of Best Buy?), to really reflect on those things that are important or spend time with our family. It's just another tradition based in history, white washed by society. Do our children even know the history? For that matter, how many adults could really tell you why we celebrate this coming Thursday? How can we be thankful, or grateful for the upcoming holiday if we don’t even know what it’s about?
I’m grateful for those that in 1620 put their faith in God and decided to get in a little ship, travel across the Atlantic and start new here in America. I’m thankful for a laundry list of things, but I’m actually grateful, deeply appreciative of God’s blessings in my life.
What are you grateful for?